Hesher (2011)



Critic Consensus: It has a dark sense of humor and a refreshing lack of sentimentality, but like its title character, Hesher isn't really interested in going anywhere.

Movie Info

Loud music. Pornography. Burning **** to the ground. These are a few of Hesher's favorite things. And they are what Hesher (Joseph Gordon Levitt) brings into the lives of TJ (Devin Brochu) and his father, Paul (Rainn Wilson) when he takes up residence in their garage uninvited. Grief-stricken by the loss of TJ's mother in a car accident, Paul can't muster the strength to evict the strange squatter, and soon the long-haired, tattooed Hesher becomes a fixture in the household. Like a force of … More

Rating: R (for disturbing violent content including graphic dialogue, pervasive language, and drug content -- some in the presence of a child)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: David Mich˘d, Spencer Susser
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 13, 2011
Box Office: $0.4M
Newmarket Films - Official Site


as Paul Forney

as Madeleine Forney

as Mr. Elsberry

as Counselor

as Funeral Director
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Critic Reviews for Hesher

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (29)

Happily, Hesher never lays things out too clearly. Just as you never know where he came from, it's hard to grasp where he's going, or even what he's doing in the moment. But you know he fits somewhere. And that's satisfaction enough.

Full Review… | May 13, 2011
Detroit News
Top Critic

Gordon-Levitt is a sly and inventive actor, and it can be genuinely fun to watch him having so much fun. But this character wears out his welcome fast.

Full Review… | May 13, 2011
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

Rather than a character rooted in some sort of reality -- social, satirical, psychological, take your pick -- Hesher is an abstract notion animated by false energy.

Full Review… | May 13, 2011
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

Bad role models sometimes make the most interesting movie characters.

Full Review… | May 13, 2011
Washington Post
Top Critic

Unlike many films that hope to be called black comedy, it does not skimp on either the black or the comedy.

Full Review… | May 13, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

When the blessed credits finally roll, the first thing Susser shows us is Hesher's tattoo of a raised middle finger. Backatcha, dude.

Full Review… | May 13, 2011
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Hesher


I hear movies get called a "dark comedy" quite a bit, and usually it's either not funny, or not dark. "Hesher" is exactly what a dark comedy should be. The subject matter is very serious, and in a lot of ways heartbreaking. But there are so many crazy and funny things that happen, that this movie will not bring you down. In a lot of ways this is like the tv show "Shameless". You will root for some of the characters while hating them for what they do. A quick synopsis since most people have probably never heard of this. An anarchist named Hesher(Joseph Gordon Levitt) moves in, uninvited, with a father(Rainn Wilson, who surprisingly is the the complete straight man in this) and his son TJ. TJ's mom has died in a car accident and he and his fathers lives have spiraled downward since, especially since his dad is so grief stricken that he can't even change his clothes. Hesher is rude, perverted, loves heavy metal, and loves to set fire. Basically, the perfect person to bring a family back together. Levitt is outstanding here and just gives one of his best performances. Natalie Portman has a glorified cameo, but she does great also. But the main star and best job of the movie is TJ(Devin Brochu). This kid is amazing. I'm a sucker for movies were kids are damaged and they are constantly battling their emotions. Brochu should have gotten more attention for his performance, because it's fantastic. I heard about this in 2011 and just never got around to watching it. I'm glad I finally did, and would strongly recommend people give it a shot. Not for everyone, it's a true independent movie, but it's very entertaining, and original.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer


This is the story of a dirty, dangerous, downright psychotic and unpedictable metalhead named Hesher who starts squatting in the living room of a family wrecked by grief over the death of a loved one. It's really about the bullied boy TJ, and how Hesher makes his life worse, but could perhaps be helping him, though the way he goes about doing this is just vulgar, nuts, and unconventional.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is awesome as Hesher. It's the kind of performance that reallly allows a performer to cut loose and just do something really out there. It's a great performance, though it feels like the film is mostly relying on him to carry it. That's kinda the biggest issue with the film. It's got some great ideas and a cool concept, but the way it is done leaves a lot to be desired. The other performances are good, however, they're all underwritten, even Hesher. It would have been better had there been more backstory and depth with the characters,because they deserve to have more known about them.

I was torn on how to rate this one. It does have the script issues, and it does start to fall apart towards the end, yet, Levitt is awesome, there's some crazy stuff on display, and it's really not all that predictable at times. It can be uncomfortable at times, but it does come around in the end. I'll just give it the benefit of the doubt and give it a mild pass, though it really does need some work.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer



Saskia D.

Super Reviewer

Hesher Quotes

– Submitted by Kryss F (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Kathy B (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Brandon E (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Michael N (4 years ago)

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